CLEVELAND -- The Indians' extra-inning marathon in Toronto earlier this month continues to have a ripple effect on the Indians' roster.On Sunday night, Cleveland announced that veteran reliever Joba Chamberlain was granted his release, making the right-hander a free agent. Chamberlain was designated for assignment on Monday, when the Indians
CLEVELAND -- The Indians' extra-inning marathon in Toronto earlier this month continues to have a ripple effect on the Indians' roster.
On Sunday night, Cleveland announced that veteran reliever Joba Chamberlain was granted his release, making the right-hander a free agent. Chamberlain was designated for assignment on Monday, when the Indians were still scrambling for fresh arms in the aftermath of the team's 19-inning victory over the Blue Jays on July 1.
"We had to have some conversations that we weren't looking forward to," Chris Antonetti, the Indians president of baseball operations, said earlier this week. "Circumstances necessitated that we had to make some moves just to be able to get some additional pitching into our bullpen to be able to absorb some innings if we needed to. That's one of the consequences of having a bullpen full of guys where you don't have flexibility.
"They're all either secure in their status on the team, or the guys that have options left really aren't considerations, like [closer Cody Allen]. Or, guys are out of options, or on guaranteed contracts, or have enough service where you don't have that flexibility. The combination of all those factors, plus what we went through in Toronto, got us to that point [Monday] where we really didn't have any other alternatives."
In 20 games for Cleveland this year, the 30-year-old Chamblerlain turned in a 2.25 ERA with 18 strikeouts against 11 walks in 20 innings. The righty was averaging 94.6 mph with his four-seam fastball, putting it on par with his showing in the previous two years. Chamberlain's average slider velocity of 86.2 mph was his highest since the 2012 season.
Chamberlain declined an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus after clearing waivers.
In parts of 10 Major League seasons, Chamberlain has turned in a 3.81 ERA with 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 385 games between stints with the Yankees, Tigers, Royals and Indians. Chamberlain signed a Minor League contract with Cleveland over the offseason and won a job on the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.